Today I read an e mail and got a little choked. It was an e mail from Water Babies about a synchronised Swimming event that we would be taking in part in. A few weeks back Izzy’s swimming instructor telephoned out of the blue and asked us which charity given the choice would we like money given to. The answer was easy SWAN UK. She said she couldn’t promise anything but would get back to us. A week later the Co -Ordinator of SWAN UK confirmed Water Babies would be raising money and swimming for SWAN. I was delighted and over the moon, word was finally getting out. So today when I saw it in black and white I had to choke back the tears, for three reasons. Firstly I never thought I would be doing anything for a charity that my child belonged to, secondly because SWAN is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves and thirdly because the e mail said that the charity was close to their hearts because their very own Water Baby was a SWAN. Sheesh emotions all over the place I tell you.
Isabella and I along with her Water Babies will be doing a synchronised swim in keeping with the forthcoming Olympics. Isabella and her friends are all very experienced underwater swimmers, they all went under for the first time back in September 2010 when they were all around 4 and 5 months old. There were several responses we were told that they could have, laugh, be unphased, smile, cry a little or scream the house down. Well Isabella screamed the house down, but after a couple more times and lots more practice in the bath with her ‘Isabella, Ready, Go’ command she soon too was unphased by it all. Now in fact she is such a pro she laughs when she comes up from under the water.
Isabella is a genuine Water Baby. There are not many things that Isabella can enjoy without her difficulties getting in the way. With swimming however she feels weightless and can kick and splash around. She doesn’t need a special chair or standing frame and she needs very little support from me, she is almost free. She will move across and under the water on her own, all be it a short distance but she is independent nonetheless.
She truly the loves the water and laughs and giggles when she is in it. As a parent it is amazing to see how happy the water makes her and how excited she gets when she knows we are going swimming. For that reason I try to take her everyday to our local swimming pool. I pack our Water Babies swimbag with the all important ‘Bubba’ the float and the ‘woggle’. Other parents in the pool must think I mad when I start singing the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and wander around the pool doing our Water Baby actions! I try to recreate our Water Babies lessons so Isabella can practice her water and safety skills. There are floats and woggles at the pool but we bring our own for familiarity for Isabella.
Taking her swimming regularly is not only good for her happiness and well-being it is also good for her physically. As Isabella isn’t mobile we have to do physio exercises everyday to keep her supple and from seizing up. Swimming as everyone knows is good as it exercises all of your body and therefore it is good therapy for all of her body.
It is amazing to think how far Isabella has come in the water. Her little legs kick frantically now and she is desperately trying to use her arms. She has no fear when she is dropped in from the poolside or when she dives in and she isn’t phased by going under the water or water splashing in her face. We don’t know if Isabella will ever be able to walk unaided, if at all, but there is a very good chance of her being able to swim independently.
I will finish this blog by shamelessly adding the link to our sponsorship page. I know times are hard and there are lots of worthy charities out there, but any donations however small will be greatly appreciated.